Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Legends of the Dalai Lama -- Die Weltwoche Article

Taken from a major Swiss publication Die Weltwoche, with extracts translated from the German. The whole article can be found here:

Die Weltwoche
Die Legenden des Dalai Lama

04.03.2009

The Legends of the Dalai Lama

March 10 this year will see the 50th anniversary of the uprising of the Tibetan people against China. In the West, the spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is worshipped like a pop star. Strange. The normally romanticized theocracy was a corrupt feudal system that enslaved its subjects.

By David Signer

Recently, in the context of his most recent trip to Europe, the Dalai Lama could receive the German Media Award in Baden-Baden, which has previously been granted to celebrities such as Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton or Bono. On March 10 fifty years ago, the Tibetans rose up against the Chinese hegemony. And it is seventy years since a little farmer's boy became 'His Holiness'.

In winter 1937/38 [the common story of recognition follows].

Everybody loves the now 73-year-old Dalai Lama, and in particular have done so since 1998 when Martin Scorsese brought his autobiography called 'Kundun' into our cinemas. From Richard Gere through to Brad Pitt, from Patti Smith through to Peter Maffay, from Dolly Buster to Robbie Williams: everyone worships the non-stop world jet-setting spiritual leader of the Tibetans. When the Dalai Lama came to Switzerland three years ago, during his eight day visit 30,000 people went onto a pilgrimage to the Zurich stadium to see him. And as is clear with the idolization of the Dalai Lama, whom even people who are not normally fond of personality cults, call 'His Holiness', the same is true for Tibet. There is a common agreement that, before the Chinese marched in, this mountainous region was a paradise of meditating monks and happy farmers living in the midst of splendid mountain scenery -- and that it would be again if it were not for the evil occupiers.

The reality is that until fifty years ago Tibet was a clerical-feudal tyranny. The truth is that a lot of the widespread common knowledge about the country is just wishful thinking. There are also dark sides to the biography of the Dalai Lama, and a lot of obscure stuff is mixed in with the esoteric Lamaism Schwärmerei (excessive sentimentality). However, since there is only little journalism on site, it is not easy to find the truth within the jungle of exile Tibetan and Chinese propaganda.

[Now follows some historical background and how the Dalai Lama, once recognized, lived until his escape.]

In the Dalai Lama's autobiography, however, it sounds like paradise when he mentally travels back to the Tibet of his youth: "No one needs to make too much of an effort in order to earn his living. Existence happens on its own and everything works wonderfully." Accordingly, during his reign, he did not make any effort to reform the country, apart from stopping the legal heritage of tax debts. The fact that political decisions are based upon oracles and astrology is no problem for him, who normally pretends to be democratic and progressive. Even though in his 'five point peace plan' he demands 'respect for the democratic freedoms of the Tibetan people', he himself has not tried until today, not even within the exile communities, to be democratically legitimized. Self-evidently he pretends to be the wholistic leader of the Tibetans, even though, strictly speaking, he is not even the spiritual representative of the whole of Tibet. He is merely the head of the Gelugpa order, the so called Yellow Hats, whose claim for leadership he has been trying to pursue for decades. These contradictions are also true for his ecological engagement. On the one hand, he demands to transform Tibet into a kind of natural reserve park and uses every opportunity to demand more ecological thinking in accordance with Mother Nature. On the other hand, from the first days of his exile onwards, at his seat in Dharamsala, the litter keeps being piled up simply on a large waste dump.

[Some stuff on the 1950’s in Tibet.]

While the Dalai Lama and his entourage went into exile to Dharamsala in India, the Cultural Revolution raged in Tibet. Between 1966 and 1976, thousands of monasteries and cultural monuments were destroyed. Switzerland was the first European country which, in 1961, accepted Tibetan refugees and offered them accommodation and work in Rikon. In 1967, the monastic Tibet Institute was opened. The information from the Dalai Lama and Tibet supporters is often not credible with regards to the Chinese occupancy. Very often it is not mentioned that in the meantime approximately half of the monasteries have been restored and are running again. Also, since the mid-nineties, you can no longer claim that there is a ban on the monastic system. If the Dalai Lama is asked about these things he replies that the monasteries have only been rebuilt for the sake of tourists; thus the Chinese are said to have no interest in maintaining the traditional culture but to re-install it as exotic backdrop and in this way it is being doomed even more. One limitation however has been enforced, undoubtedly against the will of the Dalai Lama: no more children can enter the monasteries. Also in his autobiography, 'His Holiness' claims that, due to resettlement programmes, the Chinese proportion of the population overrides the Tibetans. According to the disputed census in 2000, the proportion of Chinese people within the Tibetan Autonomous Region is 6.1%, with the highest proportion, 17%, being in Lhasa. Again and again the claim has been spread that 1.2 million Tibetans had become victims of Chinese terror, in other words a full fifth of the population. Official statements from Dharamsala even sometimes say that all of these have been Tibetan prisoners who were victims of torture or executions, and very often Chinese concentration camps are mentioned. Without doubt, China is far away from regular constitutional affairs; however the charge of systematic, lethal torture of thousands -- as indicated by the term 'concentration camp' -- is hardly plausible.

Esoteric argy bargy

Towards the end of the 1980s there were again riots in Tibet, and in December 1989 the Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Price. About one year before that he became friends with the Japanese Shoko Asahara, who ran a 'spiritual community' with several thousand followers near Tokyo. According to the researches of the publisher Colin Goldner, Ashara visited with the Dalai Lama several times in 1988. This community with their 'appreciated aims and activities' (said the Dalai Lama) was 'Aum', one of the most dangerous and totalitarian cults ever, which performed the Tokyo subway poison attacks in March 1995. The Japanese authorities had been patient with the megalomaniac Guru, despite all warnings, possibly due to the protecting hands of the Dalai Lama. When the Centres after the Sarin attack were finally searched, there were deposits of chemical and other weapons which could have killed millions of people at once. The Dalai Lama however could not even find one single word of regret. Even as late as Summer 1995, when at the Peace University in Berlin, he stated that he would recognize Asahara as a 'friend, even though not necessarily an unmistaken one'.

Also the so-called 'Shugden affair' gives rise to doubts about the much-praised wisdom of the Dalai Lama. In Summer 1996, upon the advice of his state oracle, he banned the worship of the protector Deity Dorje Shugden for his people. A number of abbots and monks protested against this ban. They accused the Dalai Lama of violating religious freedom, who reacted to this insubordination by systematic searches of houses and monasteries in the exile community. Shugden statues were destroyed and renitent monks bashed and beaten. Supporter committees even claimed that the Shugden movement was hand in glove with China.

[Mentions the triple murder. More information about that can be found here: Defamatory accusations of murder repeated over and over again for ten years]

Monks armed with iron bars

Generally, the riots before the Olympic Games were presented by the Western media in a way that they fitted into the image of 'peace-loving Tibetans'’ -- either any violence was supposedly coming from the side of the Chinese, or, if not, claims were made to the effect that Tibetan protesters had only acted in self-defence. Footage documentation and reports from eye-witnesses however give evidence of how monks armed with iron bars and bats went marauding through the historic quarter of town. Buses and cars were pushed over and set on fire, and Chinese shops and houses were pillaged. Molotov cocktails were even thrown into kindergartens, schools and hospitals. The Dalai Lama later claimed that the monks had been Chinese soldiers in disguise. This is because, by definition, Tibetans are non-violent. Around the world, demonstrations of solidarity took place.

[The rest is about the Dalai Lama’s right-wing tendencies and the stories about the liaisons between Tibetans and the Nazis and how the Tibetan regent wrote a letter to 'King Hitler'. The final paragraph is on the question why it is that the Dalai Lama is so popular in the West in spite of all the facts mentioned; and the main conclusion is that it is because Westerners are so naive.]

22 comments:

Bill Esterhaus said...

The article says "He is merely the head of the Gelugpa order, the so called Yellow Hats"

The DL is not even that, because the Ganden Tripa (or Ganden Throneholder) is the Head of the Gelugpa tradition. This used to be a democratically decided postion, held by the person who was regarded as most spiritually qualified and revered, but nowadays the Dalai Lama decides who that should be, presumably so that he can control the Gelugpas. The rust of politics, coming from the water of personal ambition once again destroys the iron of pure Buddhist spirituality. It's sad and corrupt.

Tenzin said...

Check out this article today on a socialist blog:

http://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/2009/03/what-is-free-tibet.html

It also links to this article, which explains things pretty well:

Repression—in exile

The past couple of years have been a somewhat turbulent time for Tibetan refugee communities, Tibetan Buddhism in general, and for those who idealise the Dalai Lama. Far from fulfilling his fantasy status as some sort of "saintly" icon, the Dalai Lama has followed what can be seen as a political programme of repression not that dissimilar to that of the Chinese state, from which so many have fled.

In 1996 he announced a ban on the worship of a Buddhist deity called Dorje Shugden, declaring somewhat vaguely that he had discovered Shugden to be a "Chinese" spirit who was somehow physically threatening both his own life and the future of Tibet. He declared this ban not only in his capacity as a "spiritual leader", but as head of a government-in-exile. For the Dalai Lama is the supreme head (unelected) of a state; albeit a state-in-waiting (Tibet) that is based in Dharamsala in northern India. It has a sizeable state machine; a parliament, cabinet, government departments, and most notably a Security Bureau. To fund this a tax is levied on all Tibetan refugees, non-payment of which results in official loss of "citizenship". On the question of democracy, when the Vice President of the Tibetan parliament was asked if any political decision could conceivably be taken in opposition to the Dalai Lama he answered, "no, not possible".

Those refusing to accept the ban on Shugden have accordingly been labelled as enemies of the state and Chinese agents and, in reference to Tibet's provision at paper constitution, the government-in-exile has declared that, "concepts like democracy . . . are empty when it comes to the well-being of the Dalai Lama and the common cause of Tibet". The lengths to which the Dalai Lama would be prepared to go to maintain his authority were hinted at in an interview in 1997 where he stated:

"If . . . there was only one learned Lama . . . alive, a person whose death would cause the whole of Tibet to lose all hope of keeping its Buddhist way of life, then it is conceivable that in order to protect that one person it might be justified for one or ten enemies to be eliminated . . ."

No prizes for guessing who and what is being referred to here then—and so much for peace and love.

The resulting "justified" actions taken against those refusing to comply with the deity ban have included the dismissal of all such dissidents from government employment and the report that the residents of at least one monastery were "persuaded" to sign forms in support of the ban by the presence of Indian state police. Some 300 cases of house arrest, destruction of personal property, and harassment by Dalai Lama supporters have been reported, including one case of a family being forced from their home by a large crowd, which petrol bombed and ransacked their house. In addition posters denouncing religious dissidents have become commonplace in Tibetan exile communities. These notices generally include the name, address and photo of the particular "enemy of the state" and the schools their children attend. It is little wonder that some have become refugees all over again.

The Dalai Lama recently helped promote the products of the Apple computer company under the advertising slogan "Think Different", which is interesting when compared with an official statement of his that warns: "If you can think by yourselves it is good . . . it will not be good if we have to knock on your doors."

Tibetans, both under Chinese rule and the rule of "their" government-in-exile, face a choice in common with the exploited majority everywhere: conformity imposed by gods and masters or the struggle for real freedom presented by socialists.

Gail McFadden said...

Someone draws attention to the situation here as well. Thinking people seem to be writing these articles to counter some of the press reports about the 50th anniversary of the Dalai Lama's exile, which tend to use the same unexamined assumptions about him.

http://xolo.livejournal.com/251225.html

Today, when Hollywood and Congress are indulging in their annual adoration of the Dalai Lama, it's important to recall that to many of the Tibetan people, and particularly to those who don't share his conviction that he's divinely ordained to exercise one-man rule over them, the Dalai Lama is no better than any other third-world dictator. His cruelty towards, and oppression of, the Shugden Buddhists, a sect which does not accept his authority, is detailed on their website. Please take a few minutes to read about the matter, and to sign their petition calling on the Dalai Lama to extend to dissident Buddhist sects that religious freedom which he desires for his own followers.

Anonymous said...

Following on from the article that Gail mentioned above, a reader asked if the source of the article could be trusted. The reply of the original author is priceless, go have a look. :-)

Gail said...

So priceless that I've taken the liberty of repeating it here:

*************

The obvious question is: are they a reliable source? Every religious/social/whatever group in the world complains of oppression by someone or other. I'm sure the Dalai Lama is far from perfect, and I'm not happy with "adoration" of him either, but "no better than any other third-world dictator" seems slightly overdone.

(Reply to this)

2009-03-10 09:35 pm UTC (link)
I tend to beleive them. They've got video of the Dalai Lama himself making some pretty damning statements and they've got news coverage from a variety of cources of their demonstrators being threatened by the Dalai Lama's followers. I haven't devoted a lot of time to checking them out, but what I have looked at has checked out. Most importantly, the remedy that they seek (that they should be allowed to practice their version of Buddhism unmolested, and that he should proclaim that principle in writing to his followers) is probably the most reasonable demand that I've ever seen from any dissident group in my life. They're asking for something that anyone in the West takes entirely for granted. The fact that the Dalai Lama apparently doesn't want to sign such a proclamation speaks for itself.

Thom said...

Gonpo Tashi meticulously dusts off furniture and ritual utensils every morning in a dark, 12-square meters chamber with a richly-embroidered cushion on bed that has been elegantly prepared for its supposed master.

Just outside the chamber hangs a giant photo of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso as well as enshrines six Buddha statues and a yellow monk robe that Tenzin Gyatso used to wear.

Gonpo said, "I'm ready every day for the Dalai Lama's back home."

His aspiration reminded people of the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong's call for the return of the fled Dalai Lama. But the hope seems narrower as the Dalai Lama was denounced by the Chinese government as a "politician in monk's robes" who is trying to split the country.

He and his supporters were blamed for masterminding the deadly Lhasa riots on March 14 last year, which killed 18 innocent people.

Gonpo, the 63-year-old stocky Tibetan, a nephew of the Dalai Lama, has patronized the birthplace of the Tibetan spiritual leader for at least three decades.

The clean but thrifty residential court, consisting of a two-story wooden house and a bright yellow prayer hall, faces 4,000 meter-high snowy Tsongkha Gyiri, a widely-deemed sacred mountain which brought about good fengshui, or fortunate geomancy, to the family of the boy who was later believed the incarnate Dalai Lama.

"Did you notice the continuous red hills within which our long and narrow valley is seated? -- They are lotus petals and the house stands on one petal," said the grizzled man, who splits time between his full-time vigil and serving the county-level people's political consultative conference, or a political advisory body to the local government.

Pointing at a small white pagoda about 200 meters away down from the residence's front gate, Gonpo said, "You know what -- that was an exact place where the Thirteenth Dalai Lama rested himself on his route from Kumbum Monastery to Labrang Monastery."

"A prophetical assertion of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama foretold reincarnation of his soul in this particular rural village," said the former primary school teacher.

THE MYTHS

One reason why the Thirteenth Dalai Lama chose to stop over, Gonpo said, was the sound relationship between the Dalai Lama and Taktser Rinpoche, a senior lama in the Tibetan Lamaist hierarchy who happened to be the eldest brother of the reincarnated Dalai Lama, who was born on July 6, 1935, with a secular name of Lhamo Thondup.

Lhamo's poor farming family was exceptionally rich in high lamas. Altogether three out of seven siblings became top lamas, with the Dalai Lama atop the pyramid of Tibetan lamas.

The boy ascended as a spiritual leader who mesmerized the faithful as well as gained mundane political celebrity in exile. He was granted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. He called himself "a simple Buddhist monk" but was accused by his homeland government of being the chief rebel and an ill-intentioned politician who promoted separatist movements in monk's robes. In many Westerners' eyes, he was no less than fodder for sound bites, photo-ops and newspaper front-page slots.

Myths have fueled the mysticism and celebrity of the Dalai Lama. One myth is that Lhamo Thondup was the only candidate for the incarnation -- the rationale of which was he inerrably identified belongings of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. Though with such gifted endowments, a handful of candidates should have been selected, in line with the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, for the final pick, or even after a ritual of casting lots from the Gold Bottle in the fiercest contesting cases.

After his delegation signed with the central government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) the 17-Point Agreement on a peaceful settlement of Tibet in May 1951, the Dalai Lama telegraphed Chairman Mao Zedong to actively support the peace agreement in October, almost one year after he was enthroned. He now says the rapprochement was reached "under duress."

In September 1954, the Dalai Lama, together with another Tibetan Buddhist leader Panchen Lama, went to Beijing for voting China's top legislature and was himself elected a vice speaker. He now asserts that this was a "visit (to) China for peace talks." What the Dalai Lama did in "China" was documented much more than he now officially acknowledges as "meeting with Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders." He in fact wrote a poem likening the paramount Chinese communist leader as "the Brahma," the Hindu god of creation, and "the all-mighty sun," wishing Mao "a life to eternity."

On the most intractable controversy on his falling out with the PRC central government, the Dalai Lama said, one day after the Lhasa riot on March 10, 1959, and a later publicized hand-written letter, "Reactionary, evil elements are carrying out activities endangering me on the pretext of ensuring my safety. I am taking steps to calm things down." In his official Web site, however, he states that "Tibetan People's Uprising begins in Lhasa."

The crisis led to his fleeing from Norbulingka Palace in Lhasa on March 17, 1959.

  THE TALE OF A VILLAGE

As the religious leader, the Dalai Lama spent only one third of his life in the motherland and four years in the remote mud-and-stone village, formerly known as Taktser, on the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Hongaizi Village, symbolic of the rough and sterile landscape of the plateau, shows little traces of the Shangri-La that filtered into Western minds since James Hilton created the surreal image of such a holy land.

A total of 256 villagers are now living in the same place that the highest Tibetan spiritual leader was born. More than 70 percent of the 54 families own televisions and 61 percent have telephone landlines. The village also sees 10 cell phones, 16 motorbikes, one car but not a single Internet-linked computer. Gonpo purchased the village's only private car, an economical 2003Daihatsu Charde.

Tsering Kyi, mother of a nine-year-old school girl whose family is living 150 meters from the Dalai Lama's old house, displays a picture of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama in her spacious living room.

She said, "It's not unusual that we're living here and our family's fortune largely bets on what jobs that my husband is able to find out of the village."

Unlike Tsering, many villagers believe the surrounding red hills crouch themselves like a giant lion, one of the auspicious tokens in Ping'an, an overwhelmingly farming county which saw in 2007 gross domestic product per capita at 1,500 U.S. dollars against the country's average of 2,600 U.S. dollars.

Gonpo's income comes from the public office he has served since1998 and donations from the Dalai Lama followers. Gonpo spent at least 500,000 yuan (73,200 U.S. dollars) in house maintenance in recent years.

A "POLITICIAN MONK"

As one leading figure of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, believed an incarnation of Chenrezig, stands as deity of compassion and a visible embodiment of Tibetan Buddhists' faith.

Only three of the 14 reincarnations meaningfully ruled Tibetans, and the throne of the Dalai Lama was historically bolstered by China's central governments of various dynasties. The reincarnation conducted by Rinpoches and the accreditation from the imperial authority are inseparable parts of the whole system ensuring legitimacy of the Dalai Lama and his ruling in Tibet. An angry Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) once decreed to stop reincarnation of a rebellious Tibetan Buddhist lama, which left his sect dying out.

Gradually rising as a regional spiritual and political leader, the Dalai Lama sweated for his long journey to the world stage, with his first trip outside China and India to two Buddhist countries of Japan and Thailand in 1967, the first European trip in 1973 and the first U.S. one in 1979, the year in which the United States and the People's Republic of China established diplomatic relations.

Going into exile subsequently made him a star. In all the 104 awards or honorary doctorates he has collected from around the world, 103 were granted after he fled China. Rubbing elbows with him somewhat became a fad or a manifestation of moral dignity.

The "simple Buddhist monk," who was said to wake up usually at 3:30 a.m. and spend his first four hours every day in meditation, frequently indulged his secular enjoyment in being interviewed by world top media outlets.

An online U.S. Department of Justice document recorded the Dalai Lama's visit to the United States from April 10 to 24 in 2008. During the two-week trip, the monk, often with his brand bigsmile and deep laugh, talked politics and China's "crackdown" on the March 14 Lhasa riot in NBC, CBS and NPR, to just name a few. He also met with U.S. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula J. Dobriansky, who contributed to an op-ed piece to the Washington Post the day after their rendezvous.

The spiritual leader's "sideline" activities supplemented his full-time job, prayer offerings and religious teachings which were mainly arranged by the New York-based Office of Tibet and beefed up by lobbying of pro-independence groups.

Such efforts paid off. The Dalai Lama said in his latest statement on March 10, "The fact that the Tibet issue is alive and the international community is taking growing interest in it is indeed an achievement."

Influenced by his highly politicized inner circle and interest groups, the Dalai Lama, willingly or not, interwove both religious and political faces. Before his fleeing half century ago, he consulted the Nechung Oracle for the Buddha's advice. Before teachings in recent years, the self-claimed tolerant spiritual leader usually asked Dorje Shugden worshippers not to attend his ceremonies. Those who propitiated the particular Tibetan deity protested against the Dalai Lama's discrimination, which was similar to political partisanship and runs against his announced commitment to "promoting religious harmony."

TIBETAN HERITAGE IN THE BIRTHPLACE

Gonpo, who enjoyed two visits with the Dalai Lama -- each lasting for one hour -- in the 1990s in Dharamsala, India, decorated the prayer hall wall with delicate thangkas, or cloth painting scrolls bearing images of the successive Dalai Lamas and Tsong Kha Pa, the Gelug school founder back in the fifteenth century.

"These beautiful thangkas cost me roughly 10,000 yuan," Gonpo said.

What he spent was ridiculously reasonable for the top paintings created by an artistic tribe that usually served top Tibetan clerics and noble families in the feudal era.

The artists to whom Gonpo attributed were monk painters who cultivated artful skills while practicing Buddhism at Senggeshong Mago Monastery in Huangnan.

Artist Konchok Tashi basked in an afternoon sunshine outside his lamasery, which harbors 160 monks.

The 44-year-old Esoteric Buddhist splits every year into one half of esoteric studying and the other half of aesthetic painting.

Learning from his late father, Konchok now trains five apprentices to hand down the Tibetan craftwork now designated by the government as one national intangible cultural heritage.

"I'm the best of the best," said the dark-skinned monk who enthusiastically displayed one of his artworks in his sunny living room. "I would ask for 30,000 yuan for the piece that I worked for two years."

Using a Samsung cell phone sometimes in chatting with his colleagues, Konchok often drove his 2006 Kia Cerato to buy daily necessities in a nearby town.

"I still feel scared when driving to big cities like Xining because I cannot figure out Chinese characters on highway signs," the monk said.

Illiteracy of the written Chinese, nevertheless, did not hinder his outreach. He won three awards from national and provincial arts exhibitions and developed wealthy clients in Beijing and Guangzhou, for thangkas' cultural and original uniqueness.

He paid his own way to India in December 2004 to attend one of the Dalai Lama pray offerings and to visit his younger brother. The younger brother sneaked into the Indian borders ten years ago and is now studying Buddhist dialectics in a lamasery near Dharamsala.

Amid thousands of followers at the humid event in Dharamsala, Konchok for the first time approached to the aura of the Dalai Lama. Months later, he was sick and obeyed his fellow monks' advice on resorting to the mythical Medicine Springs, just ten kilometers downhill from the Dalai Lama birthplace.

He siphoned raw water for consecutive seven days, with the largest one-time dose of seven kilograms, which left him lax.

"The Medicine Springs are called the panacea but full recovery requires frequent visits in three years," Konchok said, adding that his sickness offered him no mood in paying homage to the Dalai Lama house, though it was only ten kilometers away.

REBIRTH AND EMPTINESS

What Konchok really good at is painting Buddhas and the Sacred Lake, which are always themes of Tibetan cultural works. The Sacred Lake is Lhamo Lhatso in southern Tibet.

After the Thirteenth Dalai Lama died, the regent, himself a high lama, looked into the waters of Lhamo Lhatso. Together with other auspicious signs, the regent allegedly saw a three-story monastery with a turquoise and gold roof and a path running from it to a hill. The direction the dead Dalai Lama faced indicated his reincarnate would be from northeast of Lhasa, the seat of the Dalai Lama.

Lhamo Lhatso was believed vital to the most mythical reincarnation system in which high lamas claimed to be reborn and continue their important work. The reincarnated, also known as tulku, were usually searched within the Tibetan areas by senior lamas surrounding the deceased tulku.

The gold-roofed monastery appeared in the Sacred Lake was Serdong Chenmo Hall at Kumbum, whose importance was decided by the status of the holy site where Tsong Kha Pa was born. Top clerics from Lhasa believed the soul boy would live within a one-day horseride from Kumbum.

In explaining the sophisticated reincarnation system, Kumbum's Dzongkhang Rinpoche said, "Tulku is reborn again and again in the life circle till the eternity of being Buddha."

"It's inappropriate to call tulkus living Buddhas because Buddhas need not to be reborn," said Dzongkhang Rinpoche, echoing similar remarks made by the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.

"History tells that the search of the reincarnated soul boy was usually centered on Tibet and went no farther than Mongolia," Dzongkhang Rinpoche said.

The 67-year-old Rinpoche, however, ruled out possibility of soul reincarnation before the previous lama died.

"There is but one soul that can find rebirth," Dzongkhang Rinpoche said.

"Every Tibetan aspires that continuous rebirth of great souls would lead to creation of Buddhas," he said, adding that every Buddhist was terrified of going to Hell.

A 35-year-old Rongwo monk said he was frequently haunted by the fear of Hell. "Go to Heaven, or go to Hell, no doubt on our choice. We have to do something for toeing lamas' lines to avoid bad karma," the man said.

Li Bade, a 76-year-old Tibetan abbot who for 25 years has overseen Chorten Ki Monastery which was famed for the visit of the Third Dalai Lama, said he was satisfied with almost everything today, generous financial support from the faithful, enough food, good health service in community and effective communication.

"The world is now more like what Buddha describes in sutras that all beings and events are relational and interconnected to a state of eternity, or emptiness," he said.

"The only discontent for me," the abbot said, "is the hustling highway down the hill."

His hill-perched hut oversaw the trunk highway extended to the holy city of Lhasa.

Anonymous said...

Hey Thom, where's that article from?

BTW - "The world is now more like what Buddha describes in sutras that all beings and events are relational and interconnected to a state of eternity, or emptiness," he said.

great - can i cut my meditation time in half then... incredible statement for an abbot...

Thom said...

So Long Dalia, 'It been real Dalia, It's so nice to have you back where you belong'

"The French Foreign Ministry reiterated on Friday that France does not support Tibet independence."
March 14th,2009
Foreign Ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier made the remark after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao urged France to clarify its position on Tibet-related issues.

"We have absolutely not changed our position. That is, we support the territorial integrity of China and refused to accept separatism and Tibet independence," Chevallier said.

Earlier on Friday, when answering a question raised by a reporter from the French newspaper Le Figaro at a press conference after the closing of the Second Session of the 11th National People's Congress in Beijing, Premier Wen urged the French side to clarify its position on Tibet-related issues to facilitate the restoration of Sino-French relations.

"This serves not only the interests of both China and France, but also the interests of China and the European Union," Wen said.

Sino-French relations were strained after French President Nicolas Sarkozy insisted on meeting with the Dalai Lama because his wife is a former Rolling Stones Groupie and loves to mingle with the rich and famous.
Hillary Clinton dumped Dl and Obama will finish DL off after the west finishes borrowing the bail out money from our friends the Chinese People.
Democratic Socialist is the new world order.
Democracies protect our religious freedoms from monsters like this Dalia lama.
Perhaps India is an actual democracy that will protect her people from theocratic medieval narcisstic demigods on March 19th,2009

Thom said...

DSRCS_KR

Thom said...

New York Times Online:

Tibet Cabinet Says Talks With China Are Welcome

By EDWARD WONG
Published: March 15, 2009
BEIJING — The Tibetan government in exile in India said over the weekend that it welcomed further talks with China over policies in Tibet, but reiterated that it was still seeking autonomy for Tibetans as outlined in the Chinese Constitution.

'March 19th,2009, The New Delhi High Courts might put a differedt slant on Dalia Lama's pride and arrogance. Perhaps the Bill Of Rights will pronounce him for his short-comings and ignorance that others have equal rights to any he has or deserves.

Thom said...

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese security forces recently destroyed a case filled with explosives found in Tibet's regional capital of Lhasa, and broke up a group behind an attempted attack, an official newspaper said Wednesday.

Tibet this month passed sensitive anniversaries marking 50 years since the Dalai Lama, Tibet's Buddhist leader, fled into exile, and one year since deadly protests and riots against Chinese rule erupted across Tibetan areas.

The People's Armed Police News, newspaper of China's domestic security troops, said "one day in early spring" paramilitary patrolling Lhasa's railway station came across an abandoned pink suitcase.

Checks showed the case was "packed with TNT explosives," said the newspaper.
The TGIE releases it Secret Plan by having the TYC or Tibetan Terrorist filter into China_Tibet disguised in monk's with Bomb Jackets underneath.
The Chinese are doing nothing we are not doing or have done to others. Such is the weigh of government.The TGIE is not recognized by any other Nation on this Planet. Not one!

Thom said...

"Freak Out In The Garden Of Hell"
(Translated from Tibetan)

For three days, 2009 March 6 - 8, the leaders of Four Tibetan
Traditions and Bon Tradition, Highly Lamas, Abbots, Tulkus, and
representatives, gathered in the assembly hall of Thekchen Choeling,
Dharamshala, for the 10th Religious Meeting, where the adopted
resolutions:
Agenda:
5]
As per the gistof the intention of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, International Genden council,
and the resolutions of Three Great Seats regarding the evil spirit Dholgyal
(Shugden), monasteries including the Three Great Seats are heading toward positive
direction, cherishing it ones interest. However [we] will discuss what is the
best to carry out concerning the activity on the whole and the impairment
imposed by Dholgya adherents to Tibetan religion and politics, as well as their
various actions of defamation carried out against His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Resolution:
A) For the sake of Tibetan religion and politics, His Holiness the Dalai
Lama, the overall head of all Buddhist Traditions on this earth, has given
admonition not to worship the spirit Dholgyal. For the leaders who are High
Lamas, Abbots, Tulkus, representatives, extend fully support on 10th
meeting. Furthermore, through this meeting, they appreciates and praise the monks
of Gelugpa monasteries for picking the vote-stick accorded the Vinaya and completely
relinquishing the religious and material ties with Dholgyal worshippers.
B)
If you take refugee in the worldly god and ghost, particularly the
evil spirit, it contradicts the taking-refugee which is the gateway to
Buddhism. As such, this religious committee will make clear that Dholgyal
worshippers, be it a private or organization, will not be accepted in any sect
of Tibet .
C)
Tibetan Buddhist Sects will examine and file in chronological order
the bans imposed on the nature, function and cause of Dholgyal by highly beings
of Tibetan Traditions for last 370 years and the detrimental to Tibetan
religio-politics as the result of worshipping the evil spirit Dholgyal. This is
published through various channels such as Internet and foreign languages, and
educates Tibetans and foreigners with explanation rich with many reasons.

The Name and Signature of presiding participants on the 10th
Religious Meeting:
1
Sakya Gongma Rinpoche

2
Karmapa Rinpoche

3
Menri Trizin Rinpoche

4
Sharpa Choeje Rinpoche

5
Representative of Penor Rinpoche

6
Representative of Drigung Chetsang
Rinpoche

7
Representative of Drug Rinpoche

8
Tsering Phuntsok, Minister of Dept. of
Culture and Religion, (Tibetan government in exile.)

"Freak Out In The Garden Of Hell"
(Translated from Tibetan)
For three days, 2009 March 6 - 8, the leaders of Four Tibetan Traditions and Bon Tradition, Highly Lamas, Abbots, Tulkus, and representatives, gathered in the assembly hall of Thekchen Choeling, Dharamshala, for the 10th Religious Meeting, where the adopted resolutions: Agenda: 5) As per the gist of the intention of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, International Genden council, and the resolutions of Three Great Seats regarding the evil spirit Dholgyal (Shugden), monasteries including the Three Great Seats are heading toward positive direction, cherishing it ones interest. However [we] will discuss what is the best to carry out concerning the activity on the whole and the impairment imposed by Dholgya adherents to Tibetan religion and politics, as well as their various actions of defamation carried out against His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Resolution: A)For the sake of Tibetan religion and politics, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the overall head of all Buddhist Traditions on this earth, has given admonition not to worship the spirit Dholgyal. For the leaders who are High Lamas, Abbots, Tulkus, representatives, extend fully support on 10th meeting. Furthermore, through this meeting, they appreciates and praise the monks of Gelugpa monasteries for picking the vote-stick accorded the Vinaya and completely relinquishing the religious and material ties with Dholgyal worshippers. B)If you take refugee in the worldly god and ghost, particularly the evil spirit, it contradicts the taking-refugee which is the gateway to Buddhism. As such, this religious committee will make clear that Dholgyal worshippers, be it a private or organization, will not be accepted in any sect of Tibet . C) Tibetan Buddhist Sects will examine and file in chronological order the bans imposed on the nature, function and cause of Dholgyal by highly beings of Tibetan Traditions for last 370 years and the detrimental to Tibetan religio-politics as the result of worshipping the evil spirit Dholgyal. This is published through various channels such as Internet and foreign languages, and educates Tibetans and foreigners with explanation rich with many reasons. The Name and Signature of presiding
participants on the 10th Religious Meeting: 1 Sakya Gongma Rinpoche2 Karmapa Rinpoche3 Menri Trizin Rinpoche4 Sharpa Choeje Rinpoche5 Representative of Penor Rinpoche6 Representative of Drigung Chetsang Rinpoche7 Representative of Drug Rinpoche8 Tsering Phuntsok, Minister of Dept. of Culture and Religion, (Tibetan government in exile.)

Excommunicated!
Oh Gosh! Oh Golly!
What will we do?
It's the 19th of March, 2009. Hmmm! I wonder what news the day might bring?

Anonymous said...

A)For the sake of Tibetan religion and politics, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the overall head of all Buddhist Traditions on this earth, has given admonition not to worship the spirit Dholgyal

when exactly did the Dalai Lama become the OVERALL HEAD OF ALL BUDDHIST TRADITIONS ON THIS EARTH?!

Thom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thom said...

Old Slave Master Income!

1959, the Dalai Lama personally owned 160,000 liang (a Chinese weighing unit equal to 50 grams) of gold, 95 million liang of silver, more than 20,000 pieces of jewelry and jadeware, and more than 10,000 pieces of silk and satin fabric and rare fur clothing, including more than 100 robes inlaid with pearls and gems, each worth hundred of thousands of USD.

Tibetan people suffered under a system of feudal serfdom at the hands of religious-political rulers.

The serf-owner class, consisting of three major estate-holders - local administrative officials, aristocrats and upper-class monastery lamas - exerted extremely brutal political suppression and economic exploitation on the serfs and slaves.

About 90 percent of old Tibet's population was made up of serfs, called tralpa in Tibetan (namely, people who tilled plots of land assigned to them and had to provide corvee labor for their serf owners) and duiqoin (small households with chimneys emitting smoke). They had no means of production or personal freedom, and only lived on tilling plots for estate-holders for survival.

In addition, nangzan, about 5 percent of the old Tibet's population, were hereditary slaves regarded as "speaking tools."

Statistics released in the early years of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in the 17th century indicate that Tibet then had more than 3 million mu of farmland, of which 30.9 percent was owned by the local feudal government, 29.6 percent by aristocrats, and 39.5 percent by monastery and upper-ranking lamas.

The monopoly of means of production by the three major estate-holders remained unchanged until 1959.

According to statistics, the family of the 14th Dalai Lama possessed 27 manors, 30 pastures and more than 6,000 serfs. About 33,000 ke (one ke equals 14 kilograms) of qingke (highland barley), 2,500 ke of butter, two million liang of Tibetan silver, 300 head of cattle, and 175 rolls of pulu (woolen fabric made in Tibet) were squeezed out of its serfs every year.

It is known that each Dalai Lama had two money-lending agencies. Some money from "tribute" to the Dalai Lama was lent at an exorbitant rate of interest.

According to incomplete records in the account books of the two agencies, they lent 3,038,581 liang of silver as principal in 1950, and collected 303,858 liang in interest the same year. Governments of various levels in the old Tibet also had many such agencies, and lending money and interest collection became a duty of local officials.

A survey made in 1959 showed that the three major monasteries, namely Drepung, Sera and Ganden, in Lhasa, lent a total of 22,725,822 kilograms of grain and collected 399,364 kilograms in interest.

Also, a total of 57,105,895 liang of silver was lent for 1,402,380-liang interest.

Relevant statistics show revenue gained from usurious loans made up 25 to 30 percent of the total incomes of the three monasteries.

Small wonder his greed has increased in the West with so many naive people listening to his lies.

Tenzin said...

"In short, the Dalai Lama is primarily a political figure who—in the guise of a living god—has become religious persecutor."

http://www.blakeclan.org/jon/greenoasis/2009/03/21/dalai-lama-persecutes-worshipers-of-shugden/

Thom said...

www.dorjeshugden.com is back on line.
Now is the time to spread the Word that the True Masters are Now Shining Brighter and Brighter.
Warriors of Shambala heed the Council of Vajra Elders sounding the Horn of Freedom Ring to Fight On Against Tyranny & Injustice.
It's time to bring the Slave Master Down!

Tenzin said...

There's a lot of truth in this article in the Hindu Times:

http://www.thehindu.com/2009/04/01/stories/2009040153251500.htm

And possibly it hints at the bigger picture of what might really be best for Tibetan Buddhism, namely not a return to Tibetan-government-run theocracy (currently disguised as "autonomy").

Anonymous said...

A comment from someone close to the Tibetan community on the Dorje Shugden forum (hopefully, he won't mind me posting it here):

********************

No one in the Tibetan community lay or ordained, ordinary or high tulku can ever replace HHDL. No one has ever groomed anyone else to replace HHDL because every Tibetan believed they would return to a free independent Tibet within HHDL's lifetime. Obviously and painfully that is clear now that it will not happen.

Even HHDL says that Free Tibet or even a autonomous Tibet is a LOST CAUSE NOW. So no was expecting this type of result. Hence no preparation. All the preparation the Tibetan Exile Govt did was to return to a free and independent Tibet. Wrong preparations. Even now, which Lama or Minister is completely respected by the whole of the Tibetan populace? No one. There are high lamas that certain sects revere and other sects respect, but to be their overall political leader is impossible.

Once HHDL passes away, the whole Exiled Tibetan govt will crumble and fall apart. The ministers will immigrate to other countries if they can or just fall into obscurity. The Tibetans themselves in India and Nepal will be in a precarious situation. They will have to become Indians or return to Tibet or other host countries. Their priviledges will be taken away gradually within a decade as the govt of India will change. India will want to have stronger trade relations with China, their huge neighbour to the North. There will be no spokesperson for them anymore. There will be pockets of Free Tibet protests perhaps from the youths, but the older Tibetans are content with their Tibetan teas, prayers wheels and evening circumambulations. But gradually those protests will sink into silence. Tibet is a part of China and no country is willing to fight or oppose China otherwise.

Any other lamas would never be able to command the respect of all Tibetans on a political level, except HH the Panchen Lama and that is a gone case now.

So succession is just 'interesting' speculation or talk and it will end up nowhere.

Raymond said...

A comment made on a Tricycle blog:

I don’t practice shugden, but this deity has recieved so much publicity that it got me interested to read more. After reading, I don’t see any logic to fear this deity, the practice or it’s lineage. As the lineage of this deity contains many extemely erduite masters who practiced this deity since its inception 350 years ago. The list of masters are endless.

These masters were practicing this deity long before China took over Tibet in 1959. So how could these masters have been involved with PRC???

That is the claim of the Tibetan Govt that Shugden practitioners are siding with PRC. But prior to the 1959 takeover, how were Shugden practitioners involved with PRC??

Was masters like the guru of HH the 14th Dalai Lama, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche inolved with the PRC?? Was he recieving monetary benefits from PRC? Definitely not. Trijang Rinpoche as known for his scholastic erudition, holder of many lineages, great tutor to HH Dalai Lama for 30 years, root guru of all great Gelugpa masters of this century, and one of the highest incarnate lamas produced in Tibet. There is no stain to this great master in any form and he was a great devotee of Dorje Shugden for many incarnations. None of his incarnations went to a bad rebirth due to Shugden practice. People say if you practice Shugden, you take bad rebirth, well Trijiang Rinpoche is back and residing in the USA.

So this so called connection to China and Shugden practitioners doesn’t make sense. In fact, if there is a connection, it is a recent phenomena. So this recently phenomena cannot invalidate the practice of this deity prior to 1959 when it was a main practice of many high and erudite masters within Tibet for 350 years.

The great 5th Dalai Lama and the current 14th Dalai Lama has in fact composed prayers to this Deity Dorje Shugden. It has been translated into English and it speaks for itself that Shugden is a great being. So the Dalai Lamas are incarnations of Avalokiteshvara. So hence they should be free of mistakes and their mindstreams omniscient.

I don’t find a need to practice Dorje Shugden, but this anti-propaganda against him, is in fact making him bigger. He has become the most well known Tibetan Deity in the world.

Raymond said...

Another Tricycle comment from someone else:

If the Dalai Lama’s Govt wishes to show democracy, shouldn’t they allow their people to worship any deity and any religion they want??

Why does Dalai Lama and his govt make bans, restrictions or propaganda against any form of worship.

It is the 21st century, and Tibetans must open their minds to democratic religious worship.

That would be the 1st step to getting their country back. If they want western countries to support their cause, they must start with true democracy themselves.

Raymond said...

And another one from Tricycle:

No democratic leader in the world today would condemn or stop any form of religious worship.

Even the Pope dare not speak against other religions anymore.

Today’s world leaders must show acceptance and tolerance of all forms of worship even the worship of Dorje Shugden.

The Dharamsala Tibetan Govt only has a few years left and they are on the decline. Their existence depends on Dalai Lama. Once he passes,THEY ARE FINISHED. So instead of dividing their own ppl up on behalf of deities, shugden and sects. They should keep the ppl together.

I advise them to stop all this anti shugden rhetoric.

The Tibetan Govt is quite messy with their hate (silly in this day and age) against Shugden, their Two panchen lamas, their two karmapas and all the other religious politics. All they do is create more and more religious politics when they have severely FAILED IN GAINING FREEDOM FOR TIBET OR EVEN AUTONOMY. QUIT DIVERTING THE FAILURES TO THE SHUGDEN ISSUE.